Sometimes it feels like we're using a ton of chemicals just to keep our homes clean.
But guess what? I have some amazing tips on how to sanitize without bleach that will blow your mind! And the best part? They're totally natural and safe for you and your family.
We'll cover a variety of DIY methods that you can use to replace bleach. I mean, who knew hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar could be such powerful cleaners? These methods can even kill a majority of germs and bacteria, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. And don't worry, we'll discuss how to use these methods on different surfaces and items in your home, so you'll be a pro in no time.
So, get ready to say goodbye to bleach and hello to a safer, more natural way of sanitizing your home.
Let's dive in!
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Why avoid bleach?
Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that can quickly kill germs and bacteria.
However, there are several reasons why I choose to avoid using bleach whenever possible.
- Bleach can be harmful to our health. It releases fumes that can irritate our eyes, nose, and throat. Inhaling these fumes can cause respiratory problems, especially for those with asthma or other breathing difficulties. Additionally, bleach can cause skin irritation and even chemical burns if it comes into contact with our skin. Here's an interesting article from Healthline.
- Bleach can be damaging to our environment. When bleach is used in large quantities, it can contaminate our waterways and harm aquatic life.
- Bleach can be corrosive to certain surfaces. If not used properly, it can damage fabrics, carpets, and even some types of countertops. This can result in costly repairs or replacements.
In the following sections, I'll share some natural alternatives that are just as effective at killing germs and bacteria without the harmful side effects.
How to sanitize surfaces without using bleach
Avoiding bleach doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the cleanliness of your home. I have found some great (and kind) alternatives for sanitizing surfaces.
Here are my favorites:
Vinegar is a great natural cleaner and disinfectant. Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and use it to clean and sanitize surfaces. It's great for cleaning kitchen counters, cutting boards, and even bathroom surfaces. Plus, it's safe to use around pets and children.
Hydrogen peroxide is another great alternative to bleach. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle and use it to clean and sanitize surfaces. It's effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Plus, it's non-toxic and safe to use around pets and children.
Rubbing alcohol is a great disinfectant for hard surfaces, it dries quickly and doesn't leave a residue. Mix equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, and use it to clean and sanitize. It's also great for cleaning and disinfecting electronics, such as your mobile phone, and things that tend to get grubby around your house, like door handles.
Remember to always test on a small area before using any new cleaning product to make sure it doesn't damage the surface.
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which gives it a low pH and antibacterial properties that make it effective at cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Plus, lemons have a fresh scent that can leave your home smelling gorgeous.
One of the best things about using lemon juice for cleaning is that it is safe to use on a variety of surfaces. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, lemon juice is unlikely to cause damage to delicate surfaces such as fabric or wood.
Lemon juice can also be used to remove stains, including rust and limescale, and can even act as a natural bleaching agent to brighten your laundry.
Here are some tips on how to use lemon juice to clean different surfaces in your home:
- Countertops: To clean and disinfect your kitchen countertops, mix equal parts of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the surface and wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
- Cutting boards: Cutting boards can harbor bacteria, so it's important to clean and sanitize them regularly. Cut a lemon in half and rub it over the surface of the cutting board, squeezing the juice out as you go. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with hot water and dry.
- Sinks and faucets: To clean and shine your sink and faucets, sprinkle baking soda on the surface and then use a cut lemon to scrub it clean. Rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. Here's more on how to clean your stainless steel sink with lemon juice.
- Showerheads: Mineral buildup can clog your showerhead and reduce water pressure. To remove the buildup, fill a plastic bag with lemon juice and tie it around the showerhead, making sure it is completely submerged. Leave it overnight, then remove the bag and rinse the showerhead with water. Here's more on how to clean your showerhead with lemon juice.
- Laundry: To brighten your laundry and remove stains, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. The citric acid in the lemon juice can help remove stains and odors, leaving your clothes smelling fresh and clean.
A quick tip for cleaning your natural stone countertops like granite and marble:
Avoid using acid-based cleaners such as vinegar and lemon juice. These cleaners can actually damage the surface of your countertops over time. Instead, simply use gentle dish soap and water to clean up any spills or messes. This will help keep your natural stone countertops looking beautiful and in great condition for years to come.
How to sanitize laundry without using bleach
Laundry is an essential part of our lives, and keeping it clean and sanitized is crucial for our health.
But, not everyone wants to use bleach to sanitize their clothes.
Here are some alternative methods for sanitizing laundry without bleach:
One of the easiest ways to sanitize clothes is by washing them in hot water. Hot water can kill most bacteria and viruses that may be present on your clothes. The temperature of the water should be at least 60 °C (140 °F) to effectively sanitize the clothes.
Keep in mind that hot water can damage some fabrics and cause shrinkage. So, make sure to check the care label on your clothes before washing them in hot water.
Essential oils are another great way to sanitize clothes naturally.
Some essential oils have antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and viruses, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil.
To use essential oils, add a few drops to your laundry detergent or fabric softener. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it on your clothes before washing them.
Borax is a natural mineral that has been used for cleaning and sanitizing for centuries. It has antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria and viruses. To use borax, add half a cup to a cup of borax to your laundry detergent and wash your clothes as usual.
Keep in mind that borax can be toxic if ingested, so make sure to keep it away from children and pets.
Dry in the sun
While the heat of a tumble dryer can kill bacteria, drying clothes on a line can work very well too.
When clothes are hung out to dry in the sun, they are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which has been shown to kill bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present on the fabric.
The heat from the sun also helps to dry the clothes more quickly, which can further inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold.
Additionally, hanging clothes outside in the fresh air can help to remove any musty or stale odors, leaving them smelling fresh and clean.
Read this next:
- How to wash dishcloths without bleach
- How to make your own homemade laundry sanitizer
- Is vinegar or bleach best for cleaning your washing machine?
How to sanitize the toilet without bleach
Let's face it, nobody likes cleaning the toilet. But it's a necessary task to keep your bathroom clean and hygienic.
Fortunately, you don't need to use harsh chemicals like bleach to get the job done.
With these natural alternatives to bleach, you can keep your toilet clean and hygienic without using harsh chemicals:
- Vinegar and baking soda. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the toilet bowl, seat, and lid. Let it sit for a few minutes, then sprinkle baking soda on the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush. Rinse with water, and you're done! Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties, while baking soda helps to deodorize and scrub away stains.
- Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant that can be used to sanitize your toilet. Pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and flush. It's that easy!
- Lemon juice. Lemon juice is a natural cleaner and deodorizer. Squeeze a lemon into a spray bottle and add some water. Spray the mixture onto the toilet bowl, seat, and lid. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush. Rinse with water, and your toilet will be clean and smell fresh!
- Borax: Borax is a natural mineral that can be used to clean and sanitize your toilet. Sprinkle some borax onto the toilet bowl, scrub with a toilet brush, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Flush, and you're done! Borax has natural antibacterial properties and can help remove stains.
As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to bleach when it comes to sanitizing your home.
Natural cleaning alternatives can be just as effective as harsh chemical cleaners, without the negative side effects on our health and the environment.
By using natural ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and lemon juice, you can keep your home clean and sanitized while also doing your part to protect the planet.
Plus, with the added bonus of fresh natural scents, your home will smell amazing too!